Arviat woman asks for prayers for husband on ventilator in Winnipeg

“Please pray” for COVID-19 patient Luki Sammurtok, wife Diane says

Arviat’s Diane Sammurtok is seen with her husband, Luki, who is currently on a ventilator in a Winnipeg hospital after contracting COVID-19. (Image courtesy of Diane Sammurtok/Facebook)

By Jane George

Nunavut residents are responding to a call for prayers for an Arviat man with COVID-19 who is hooked up to a ventilator in a Winnipeg hospital.

“Please pray for my husband Luki Sammurtok. He is in ICU with breathing tube in Winnipeg … he got COVID-19,” said Diane Sammurtok, who has been reaching out for support on the Revelation of Heaven Facebook page.

“Please keep my husband in your prayers. I love my husband.”

Her posts have received hundreds of likes and comments.

Luki Sammurtok, an Arviat man, was medevaced south Dec. 3, and was on a ventilator in a Winnipeg hospital, his wife said on Facebook.

Reached by Nunatsiaq News at home Monday, Diane Sammurtok said she didn’t want to talk for long because she hadn’t received an update yet from the hospital on her husband and wanted to keep the phone line free.

The news that a man from Arviat, where there are 49 people who have active cases of COVID-19, required a ventilator to help him breathe comes only days after the GN said a handful of Nunavut residents with COVID-19 had been evacuated to a Winnipeg hospital over the previous week.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, disclosed the medevacs at a Dec. 4 news conference, saying there had been “less than five” patients sent south for health care over the past week.

“We’re not going to discuss numbers and not going to discuss community of origin,” he said then.

When asked about Nunavut residents who may also have contracted COVID-19 in the south, Patterson said the GN was aware of some people in Winnipeg and in other jurisdictions.

“We’re not going to comment beyond that,” Patterson said.

During the GN’s COVID-19 news conference on Monday, Dec. 7, Patterson also declined to provide any information about hospitalized patients unless there are more than five Nunavummiut in southern hospitals.

“There is no public interest in disclosing information at this level in those cases,” said Patterson in reference to Nunavut residents who have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

Later, Chris Puglia, the acting communications manager at the Health Department, said, “The Department of Health is legally bound to patient confidentiality.”

“As Dr. Patterson reiterated at the press conference today, we will not be releasing personal medical information to the public,” Puglia said Monday.

In response to questions about the condition of those who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Department of Health has repeatedly said it “does not release personal data, including age, gender or job title.”

The World Health Organization says about one in every five people who are infected with COVID-19 develop difficulty in breathing and may end up on a ventilator.

The devices breathe for the patient with a long plastic tube placed down the throat and into the windpipe.

A ventilator takes over the sedated patient’s breathing process when COVID-19 causes the lungs to fail.

Over the weekend, the GN reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Arviat.

Three more were reported Dec. 7.

To date, Nunavut has 216 positive cases of COVID-19, of which 51 are active.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Name withheld on

    Post are circulating on FB that this virus is not real and it is the Government’s way of controlling everyone on earth.. People please keep in mind how serious this virus is before you post . Get the actual facts and dig deeper before you share something!! Prayers for Luki and to you also Diane.

  2. Posted by Greatest Human Sacrifice Ever on

    I come to you sweetest Jesus and ask you to bathe Arviat in the warmth of your blood. May the flesh sacrifice you made bring back life

  3. Posted by Transparency on

    ‘“We’re not going to comment beyond that,” Patterson said.
    “There is no public interest in disclosing information at this level in those cases,” said Patterson in reference to Nunavut residents who have been hospitalized for COVID-19.’
    Excuse me Dr. Patterson, as an unelected bureaucrat and civil servant, who are you to dictate what is in the public interest in terms of information? Are you a communications expert? No one is asking for personal information that would be protected under Nunavut’s privacy laws. This is statistical information. Is it really necessary for the press to have to use Access to information to obtain simple statistics about medevacs and generally where residents have contracted COVID-19?
    To ensure the public continues to follow your advice, the public needs to trust you. Refusing to give basic numbers and information like this takes away from this. Be transparent and open, since it seems like the fact that you do not want to comment on these details suggests that the Department of Health has something to hide. I mean at this stage we are about a month into COVID-19 hitting the territory. However, the “experts” still do not “know” how this happened. Really? I suspect they know but just do not want to tell us how someone at Dept of Health messed up. The public deserves to know – we are paying for the strategy being implemented after all.
    Continue to ask hard questions Nunatsiaq, and go to Access to Information if these bureaucrats refuse give the answers.

    • Posted by boris pasternak on

      What lock down? What restrictions? Ppl here just don’t listen. It’s just like any other tuesday…..ujagaaq imialuk and pattick are just too strong for many who are dependent on these three. Ppl everywhere today. Christmas celeberations r shot for sure.

    • Posted by Paul Murphy on

      For someone who insists on transparency, you are not following your own demands. What is YOUR NAME? You criticize the one person who is guiding all of us throughout this pandemic as it comes to Nunavut. The one who leads the recovery in the Kivalliq and maintains the absence of the virus elsewhere. I and I suspect the majority of the population both in Nunavut and the Kivalliq appreciate the need for non-disclosure of some information that is really irrelevant to us and maintains the identity of the “patient” The good Doctor and his staff will, hopefully, continue with their respestful approach to their daily appearances. In the meantime, your hypocrisy is showing.

  4. Posted by Dean Aqiqi on

    Attn: Diane Sammurtok
    Here is a prayer for your husband Luki Sammurtok:

    Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

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